Year 4, Month 9, Day 4: Unlike The Rest Of You Squares

Gina McCarthy went to Alaska, and the Anchorage Daily News was on the case:

“The climate is changing and we need to adapt to that change and make sure communities are prepared,” she said.

A trip to Iowa two weeks ago highlighted the issues, she said.

“There was no question in discussions with both farmers and ranchers the climate change impacts we’re seeing right now are severe,” she said. “We’re having drought and floods in the same state at the same time.”

McCarthy’s path to the EPA’s top job was rocky. Senate Republicans held up her nomination for more than four months before she was confirmed July 18. They used Obama’s choice of McCarthy to highlight complaints about the agency’s environmental regulations and the president’s agenda. McCarthy was previously head of the EPA’s air pollution office.

Alaska’s senators were divided over her confirmation. Democratic Sen. Mark Begich voted for McCarthy, while Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski opposed her, although she did not support a filibuster attempt. Murkowski, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate energy committee, did not return a message Monday about the new EPA leader.

“Sen. Murkowski agrees that climate change should be addressed, but remains concerned about the administration circumventing Congress to impose costly and unpopular regulations,” her spokesman, Robert Dillon, said in an email.

Sigh. August 31:

So Senator Lisa Murkowski thinks “climate change should be addressed,” but is unhappy that President Obama is “circumventing Congress to impose costly and unpopular regulations.” In other words, she’d be happy to confront a profound threat to our civilization, as long as she’s not actually required to do anything. That’s an easy game, but a deeply cynical one. If Sen. Murkowski isn’t just mouthing platitudes, perhaps she could work to persuade her colleagues in the halls of government to stop denying basic science in the service of short-term political gamesmanship.

Here’s a tip for the Senator and her colleagues in the GOP: failure to move strongly and swiftly on the climate crisis is going to bring results more costly and unpopular than anything you’ve ever imagined. The costs of inaction on this civilizational threat are conservatively reckoned in the trillions; the health of the entire planet is at stake.

Perhaps House and Senate Republicans think Earth should just go to the Emergency Room.

Warren Senders

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